Vale Michael Powell 'Powelly'

My association with Mike Powell began with my appointment to Blayney Central School in 1993.

Mike was the principal of this kindergarten to Year 10 school at the time.

Mike had been at the Blayney Central School since 1981 where he had been appointed as the industrial arts teacher. He had worked his way through the various promotions positions to be principal. Mike had a friendly and open way of dealing with staff, students and parents. He was fiercely proud of the school and the achievements of the students.

Mike enjoyed working with his hands. He could often be seen with students tending the gardens, mowing lawns, fixing leaks and later in the agricultural plot looking after the sheep and various animals that became part of the program. As was recently noted by his daughter “Mike loved a good chain saw!” I have very clear memories of several trees and shrubs that became ‘victims’ of Mike’s pruning methods with a chain saw.

He spoke quickly and he moved quickly. Mike liked action. He was dedicated to his school and the wider Catholic community. He rarely missed a P&F or parish council meeting. Mike developed a strong rapport with the students, their parents and Blayney. He had a passion for education and a special understanding of the needs of the teenage learner.

Mike was a mentor to staff and students. When I arrived at Blayney, Paul Carroll was the assistant principal. He and Mike made quite the dynamic team. Mike mentored and supported Paul who went on to principal roles. He encouraged and mentored many other staff members over the years to take up executive positions and continue with his passion for education.

Mike spent his final years in education following another passion, Mathematics. He taught Mathematics to students at James Sheahan Catholic High School in Orange. Here again his dedication to his craft and to his students shone through. Despite having lived with illness most of his life, Mike did not let that define him. He was a teacher, a mentor, a father, a friend and he will be very much missed by all those whose life he touched.

Kerry Maher
IEU Rep, St Mary’s Primary School Orange